Webcasting of Central Okanagan school board meetings delayed

Policy go-ahead will fall to incoming trustees

Central Okanagan Public Schools continues to work towards creating online access to school board meetings at some point this fall. (Contributed)

Public online access to Central Okanagan Board of Education meetings is not ready for prime-time viewing quite yet.

Kevin Kaardal, Central Okanagan Public Schools superintendent/CEO, says starting up the webcasts will be addressed by the new school board after the Oct. 15 election.

Kaardal says school district staff are still working through several webcast issues, such as identifying youth appearing before the trustees at a board meeting.

The meetings were webcast during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that was stopped when public meeting protocol restrictions were eased by the ministry of health.

The school board voted in June to adopt a return to webcasting meetings, pending the follow-up report from staff on how that policy can be implemented.

While there was favourable consensus from trustees to open up access to the public regarding board meetings, concerns were also raised about personal abuse attacks online that can be generated from online access.

Trustee Norah Bowman noted how her experience was not always pleasant, being subjected to online personal attacks which at times the RCMP were called in to respond to.

“You just need to be aware that when you open up access to meetings, this is some of what comes with it,” Bowman said.

Simon Adams, president of the Central Okanagan Advisory Council, said his organization was supportive of online access to meetings, saying it can help generate interest or awareness of parents and school issues, and hopefully lead to more parents opting to volunteer on PAC committees.

READ MORE: Central Okanagan trustees adopt webcasting of meetings

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